SARATOGA SPRINGS – Congregation Shaara Tfille and The Jewish Community Center of Saratoga Springs will present “David Friedmann — Lost and Found Portraits of the Prague Jewish Community 1940-1941” on Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 7 p.m. in the synagogue’s social hall at 84 Weibel Ave., Saratoga Springs. The lecture program featuring Miriam Friedman Morris, the artist’s daughter, is part of the 2022 Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival.
Friedmann, 1893–1980, was a painter, known for his portraits drawn from life, and a leading Berlin press artist of the 1920s. As a refugee in Prague, he produced portraits of the Jewish community during the Nazi occupation. Subjects included prominent Zionists, many who became heads of Theresienstadt Ghetto and were later murdered in Auschwitz.
According to organizers of the Saratoga program, the portraits give face to known and unknown victims creating historically significant evidence of a dynamic Jewish community destroyed by the Nazi regime.
As a Holocaust survivor, Friedmann fought anti-Semitism and racial hatred by painting many of the horrors that he had witnessed in the Lodz Ghetto and Auschwitz. His works are in various museum collections, including the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and on view in the permanent display at the Holocaust History Museum, Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
Freedman’s daughter Miriam Friedman Morris will discuss finding his lost portraits and the discuss connections she made piecing together his story. One of these connections is with a local woman, Judith Ehrenshaft, who was a former Congregation Shaara Tfille president of the board of directors and its current sisterhood president. She will detail this at the lecture.
After her father’s death in 1980, Miriam felt driven to carry on his mission — to show his art to the world — and succeeded with exhibitions in the United States, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel. Fascination with her father’s Nazi-looted art inspired a second quest to find lost works and ensure his rightful place in history. The pursuit launched a worldwide revival of an artist obscured by the Nazi regime. Miriam, who lives in New York, facilitates exhibitions, contributes to educational projects, lectures and writes.
Admission is $5 per person, which includes refreshments. Reservations may be obtained by contacting [email protected], or calling 518-584-2370.